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The great reset: Why mindset should be every broker’s top focus

Instead of dwelling on the lack of inventory or the insane over-asking price deals, perhaps we start rewriting the story.

We’ve heard it hundreds, if not thousands of times, that “Mindset is Everything!” Yet, we still often fail to make our mindset a priority, whether it’s in our day-to-day roles, or in our office leadership.

Sure, setting the right mindset may not be as exciting as landing a coveted listing, helping a client secure their dream home while beating out multiple buyers, or getting that prize recruit to join your brokerage, but if it stops being a priority, the consequences to your business can far outweigh any success. 

Mindset is what drives us daily — wake up with a purpose and a positive outlook and you feel unstoppable. Obstacles become opportunities and success becomes a certainty.

Conversely, facing the day with a negative mindset can turn even the greatest opportunities into roadblocks, which drains not just the individual but all those around them – including other agents and staff.

As a broker who’s faced burnout in a rapidly changing environment, I can reflect on two things that became painfully apparent during these past two years:

  1. When mindset maintenance is not a priority from the top down in a company, everyone suffers. Burnout becomes inevitable and it affects agents, staff, and leadership alike.
  2. During the pandemic, many agents struggled as they tried to navigate unfamiliar territory, such as adjusting from working in a hyper-social field to working remotely from home. Failing to have a plan in place that prioritizes the people in your company and recognizing the challenges they face in their personal and professional lives can have catastrophic impacts on office culture and ultimately profits. 

Rewriting the Narrative

It’s been said, “What you focus on expands.” I truly believe this and yet, if you listen to the messaging that currently surrounds our industry, it’s no wonder that we all feel so defeated. Our agents must fill the role of cheerleader to their clients, while hearing constant narratives of little to no inventory and buyers offering double-digit percentages over asking price, along with waiving some if not all purchase contingencies.

Then, we have the listing agents, faced with the challenge of locating listings, the added stress of presenting multiple offers and having to navigate through the threat of buyer’s remorse with each accepted deal.

It is safe to say that agents have not worked in a more difficult market than today, and the constant industry noise isn’t helping. All of this begs the question, who is their cheerleader?

Instead of dwelling on the lack of inventory or the insane over-asking price deals, perhaps we start rewriting the story by reminding our agents that while inventory seems scarce, most areas (including the country as a whole) saw more houses sold in 2021 than any other year in the past 15 years.

Encouragement, not discouragement

Of course, inventory is still tight, but a record number of units hit the books, so our negative outlook and pessimistic mindset needs a reset. While it is often reported to buyers that it’s a bidding war out there, encourage your agents to check their local MLS and see where their market’s last 12 months list-price-to sale-price ended. Most will be shocked that it is not as bad as it is portrayed to be.

I am not saying it isn’t challenging out there, but remember, what you focus on expands. A defeatist mindset will say that there is no inventory and that houses are selling for way over their asking price.

This repeating narrative starts to seem like the only reality, which can lead to agents doubting their ability to help their clients and even cause them to resent their role as an agent.

Simply shifting their mindset to being more positive will lead them to understand that a staggering number of homes were sold last year and while buyers might have to pay over the asking price given the low interest rates, a small percentage (on average) over the asking price is much better than selling with interest rates double from what they are currently. Again, it is all about perspective.

Setting expectations

Hopefully, we all train our agents to assist their clients with setting expectations. As brokers and leaders, we must focus on our internal clients as well — our agents. We owe it to all we serve to create an environment where a positive mindset can thrive. Focus on creating and maintaining that environment, and productivity will follow. Let’s take care of those that look to us for leadership.

Don’t just be visible and ask how their weekend was. Stay committed to fostering an environment where people come first. Agents will appreciate your authenticity and intention to focus on their success as a person, not just the production they represent. Their personal and business lives will flourish and just as importantly, so too their bond and loyalty to you.

B.J. Sonderman is RedKey Realty Leaders’ St. Louis Director of Agent Success for the West office.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of RealTrends’ editorial department and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
B.J. Sonderman at bj.sonderman@redkeystl.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Tracey Velt at tvelt@realtrends.com

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